Investigation of the Error of Mean Representative Current Velocity Based on the Method of Bins for Tidal Turbines Using ADP Data

Udara Rathnayake*, Matt Folley, S.D.G.S.P. Gunawardane, Carwyn Frost

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Representing the velocity at a tidal energy extraction site in a standardized manner is essential for the development of the tidal energy sector. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have issued a technical specification to determine the mean representative current velocity (MRV) relative to a tidal energy converter (TEC). This method determines the MRV using an acoustic Doppler profiler (ADP). This is used to evaluate the power performance of a TEC and so can have a significant influence on the power performance uncertainties, due to the cubed relationship of the MRV and power. This paper investigates these uncertainties in the MRV by considering four sources of uncertainty in the ADP. These are turbulence intensity, tilt, Doppler noise and beam misalignment of an ADP. A synthetically generated dataset is used to define current velocity and profile using the characteristics of currents and ADP. The generated synthetic dataset is processed to calculate the MRV based on the standard IEC method. An alternative method to calculate the MRV, called the temporal-spatial method (TSM), is proposed and the two methodologies are used to assess the error of the MRV. A sensitivity analysis shows that the errors of the MRV based on the standard IEC method are always higher than the TSM. The biases in the MRV based on the different combinations of the uncertainty are investigated and it is found that the bias for the MRVs based on the TSM method is generally less than that of the IEC method.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)390
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


  • Acoustic doppler profiler
  • Beam misalignment
  • Currents
  • Doppler noise
  • Tilt
  • Turbulence
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Ocean Engineering


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